Ian Morris, the super-giant brained academic who belongs to, not one, but three academic departments at Stanford University (Classics, History, and Archeology), thinks we are fast entering the era of Far Eastern economic and political dominance and that it could be fully upon us as early as 2050:
By 1900 the British-dominated global economy had drawn in the vast resources of North America, converting the USA from a rather backward periphery into a new global core. The process continued in the 20th century, as the American-dominated global economy drew in the resources of Asia, turning first Japan, then the ‘Asian Tigers’ and eventually China and India into major players. Extrapolating from these historical patterns, we can make some predictions. If the processes of change continue across the 21st century at the same rate as in the 20th century, the economies of the East will overtake those of the West by 2100. But if the rate of change keeps accelerating – as it has done constantly since the 15th century – we can expect eastern global dominance as soon as 2050.
Teach your children (Mandarin) well.
Ian Morris’s new book is getting a lot of buzz, by the way (though I haven’t read it yet).